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Facts and information about Croatia
The official language of Croatia is Croatian, though in the touristy areas English is widely spoken and understood.
Croatia uses the Croatian Kuna. Exchange rates vary so check before traveling.
Best travel time
Croatia's landscape is made up of mountains, beaches, forests, plains and cities so the climate varies strongly depending on the geography. As a rule of thumb the Coastal areas have a very Mediterranean climate with average temperatures of around 25°c in the summer and mild rain in the winter. Inland around Zagreb and Slavonia the winters can get very cold with snow and the summers are prone to dry heat waves but with averages around 22°c.
Croatia officially known as the Republic of Croatia only requires a valid ID card from visitors from the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of the American countries as well as Australia require a passport but no visa. For full details visit the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs website: http://www.mfa.hr/MVP.asp?pcpid=1615
It is not required to have any particular vaccinations but it is recommended to be up to date on your routine vaccines. For more information visit the NaTHNaC website: http://www.nathnac.org/ds/c_pages/country_page_HR.htm
Most of the hotels will have telephone reception and in the big cities it is not a problem. In some more rural areas you may experience mobile coverage problems.
Country and People
Traditions and Culture
Croatia is set at the cross roads of Central Europe, the Mediterranean and the Balkans. This mix of cultures has led to a great cultural diversity. One of Croatia's most famous contribution to the world's culture in the necktie which is derived from the cravat which was worn by the Croat soldiers in the 17th century. In total there are 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Croatia. Croatians have a strong and distinctive culture with traditional folk dancing, music and costumes to mark many celebratory occasions. One event where you can witness these Croatian traditions in the Zagreb International Folklore Festival. The Croatians are a very laid back and friendly people. Croatia has a very high Human Development Index and continues to develop rapidly.
Freedom of religion is written into the Constitution of Croatia. The large majority of Croatians belong to the Roman Catholic Church. Minority groups include; Orthodox Christians, Muslims, Protestants, Atheists and Agnostics. Religion plays an important role in the lives of over half the population according to polls.
The most common and cheapest form of transport is by bus. The national bus service is very well developed and serves both national and international destinations. The largest bus terminal is in the capital; Zagreb.
Croatia's International airports are located in Zagreb, Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, Rijeka, Osijek and Pula. There are also many seaports and due to recent upgrade in the motorway infrastructure travelling by car is also a popular choice. Train travel is also a good option though the rail network is a little out of date.
Discover and Enjoy
Top sights in Croatia include the Plitvice Lakes National Park, the historic port town of Dubrovnik and the many other picturesque coastal towns and pretty islands. For more ideas of places to visit in Croatia take a look at: http://www.holidaycheck.com/state-things_to_do_Croatia-ch_rt-lid_33.html
Croatia boasts many music festivals in the summer months. One of the most famous ones is the Hideout festival on Pag island. Another good music festival is Soundwave near Split and T-Mobile INmusic festival on Jarun Lake in Zagreb. Other festivals include the Garden Festival in Zadar, the Moreska festival in Korcula, the Motovun Film festival in Istria and the Night of the Full Moon in Zadar.
Every region in Croatia has its own culinary specialties. Mainland cuisine is strongly inspired by the Slavik influences with a lot of black pepper, paprika and garlic. Along the coast the food is more Mediterranean with a lot of olive oil and herbs and spices like rosemary, citrus fruit and cinnamon.